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Home Explore Travel Directors - January 2018 Newsletter

Travel Directors - January 2018 Newsletter

Published by gavinbenson1, 2018-03-01 11:09:45

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137 Cambridge St, West Leederville WA 6007 • Tel: (08) 9242 4200 or 1300 856 661 (from outside WA) • Fax: (08) 9382 8393January 2018 Edition ...Adventures of a lifetimeA very heartfelt and warm welcome to 2018 to all of be presenting many of our most popular tours, as IN THIS ISSUE…our intrepid travellers and friends. We hope you all well as some new ones: South America: the Topenjoyed the festive season with family and friends End, and Kamchatka: Nature’s Tour de Force. Full Info Sessions & Exposand are looking forward to an exciting new year. details appear on Page 3, and also on our website – The High ArcticNow is a great time to think about where you’d like to or you can call 1300 856 661 for more information. Animal Attractiontravel this year and in 2019, and to that end we will Bookings are essential, so please call to register Nepal border opensbe holding our usual round of Information Sessions your interest. We look forward to seeing you soonaround the country in February and March. We’ll and helping with your travel plans! Here’s what some of our first ‘Top End’TOP END A TRIUMPH travellers had to say:Scarlet Ibis, “Wow!!! A fantastic experience allTrinidad & round. Loved the surprises along theTobago. way.’ S Whiting, NSW ‘You will not have a more excitingIf you think you’ve ‘done’ South America – think again! Many adventurous travellers have ticked a number experience in the wilds – in comfortof boxes of this remarkable continent, which is home to 12 very diverse sovereign states. But how many and safety – than on this tour!’can say they’ve delved deep into the ‘Top End’ of South America – all in one extraordinary journey? Well, K Mallinson, Qldthanks to our tour mastermind Tony Evans, we know of quite a few! Tony’s inaugural tour to this exciting ‘A demanding, exciting, remote foraycorner of South America returned triumphantly a few weeks before Christmas last year. A second group, into a part of the world that oozesled by our ever-popular Tour Leader Jim Gill, was equally fulsome in its praise for this remarkable tour colour, character and natural beauty.’which definitely pushes the boundaries of ‘paths less trodden’. C Whitford, WA “The surprise components were amazing and unforgettable.’ T Doble, Qld ‘The tour was mammoth, challenging and like nothing I’ve ever done before – a true masterpiece. I loved it all!’ J Day, WA Jim’s Group at Angel FallsOur latest foray into Latin America begins in French Guiana – an overseas department of France on thenortheast coast – whose claims to fame include its pristine rainforests, its prison-colony history (thinkPapillon), and the Ariane Space Centre. Next stop on the journey is Suriname, whose capital – Paramaribo– oozes Dutch colonial charm. Crossing the border into Guyana, the journey gets even more adventurous.Here the terrain is dominated by dense rainforest and exploring such dramatic sights as Kaieteur Fallsand Turtle Mountain, deep in the country’s interior, can only be accomplished by charter flight and boat.Based at Iwokrama Lodge on the banks of the Essequibo River, this is one of the world’s last remainingpockets of remote wilderness, where crowds and touts and cheap souvenirs, have not yet arrived. Theexotic Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago are the next port of call – and one of the highlights hereis the magnificent sight of Scarlet Ibis flocking en-masse at dusk into the trees. In a tour that is packedwith unique experiences and jaw-dropping vistas, perhaps one of the most remarkable is Angel Fallsin Venezuela. Access to the falls is by boat from Canaima – a lengthy journey, but well worth the effort.Angel Falls is possibly one of the most staggering sights to behold – the water dropping almost a fullkilometre to the river below. Our final destination in South America’s ‘Top End’ is Colombia. Once knownprimarily for its drug lords – this colonial jewel now safely reveals its delightful towns and cities, amongthem Medellin, Cartagena and Guatape. This tour is a scenic wonderland which will enrich adventuroustravellers with its dazzling tapestry of culture and history. The 33-day tour departs all Australian capitalcities on 2 November 2018.

Following in Ancient It has been running now for four years, and our ‘Five Stans’ Footsteps tour is still very much a chart-topper, with enthusiasm for this amazing journey to Central Asia as strong as ever.The Mir-i-Arab Madrassah, Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Since Tony took the inaugural group on this extraordinary adventure in 2013, we have taken more than 250 intrepid travellers to this cutting-edge, yet safe and politically stable region. This part of the globe is home to great steppes, magical deserts, fertile valleys and some of the highest mountains in the world. The scenery is breathtaking and remarkably varied, with green/blue glacial lakes, saw-toothed mountains, red rock formations, sparkling rivers and rolling hills. These lands produced great scholars and conquerors, and were a 19th and 20th century geopolitical chess board on which the ‘Great Game’ was played out between Britain and Russia. Until recently shut off from the outside world and still shrouded in legend and mystery, the personality of each of the ‘stans’ makes an extraordinary journey through one of the world’s less-visited regions. Our tours for 2018 are already filling fast, but we still have spaces left on both our May and September departures. Don’t forget, we include all visas in the tour cost and we do all the paperwork – which is no mean feat on this tour! Call our friendly consultants today to find out more about our truly memorable journey through Central Asia!Let it Snow, Let it Snow! Tour Leader Karen meets the locals in Mongolia.There’s something very magical about snow – especially freshly falling snow –and celebrating Christmas in a winter wonderland is a very special experience.What could be more exciting than waking up on Christmas morning and taking ahorse-drawn sleigh ride through a snow-laden forest in Siberia? This is just thebeginning of a memorable day at Listvyanka near Lake Baikal, where our winterTrans-Siberian group enjoys all the festivities and trappings of a picture-postcardChristmas with a fun-loving Russian family. But the fun begins in Beijing – where wehave the Great Wall and Forbidden City to ourselves, or so it seems. Then it’s ontoMongolia where we go deep into the countrysideto visit a nomadic family at their ger, see the localsrace their horses across the snowy landscapes,and enjoy an exhilarating dog-sled ride. Anothermajor highlight of the tour is New Year’s Eve inMoscow: the atmosphere is electric with streetentertainers and Christmas stalls, as thousandsof people gather in and around Red Square towatch the fireworks explode over St Basils and theKremlin. The elegant and sophisticated city of StPetersburg is the final stop on our 26-day tour, and Xmas Day 2017, a fitting end to this sensational trip. Check it outon the website!The tanneries at Fez, Morocco. Make Tracks for Morocco Yet another sensational journey, Manchester to Marrakech, continues to get great reviews from our travellers. This very unique rail tour ticks all the boxes when it comes to the diversity of sights and experiences, and the stark contrast of the sublime rolling countryside of the North of England and Wales, against the colourful souks of Morocco. With all trains travelling by day, it’s a fantastic way to fully appreciate the changing landscapes as the journey rolls through the UK, Central France, Spain and Morocco. En-route we visit the Welsh village of Portmeirion, Snowdonia National Park, the French Massif Central - home to the famous Michelin factory, the delightful Spanish cities of Zaragoza, Valencia and Ronda, the bustling Moroccan cities of Fez and Marrakech, and the amazing Roman ruins at Volubilis. How many tours begin with a Sunday roast on a canal boat in Manchester, and finish watching snake-charmers in an exotic medina in Marrakech?! If you’re thinking Manchester to Marrakech (or ‘M2M’ as it’s been dubbed) in 2018, don’t delay – it’s filling up fast. Departs 7 September.

Nepal Border Opens Information SessionsTwo years after the earthquake in Kathmandu, a land border between Tibet and Now that Christmas and New Year are behind us,Nepal has been opened to foreign travellers. it’s time to start thinking about where you want toThis is fantastic news for our Himalayan Express tour, as it means we can now go in 2018/2019 – and we have plenty to inspirecomplete the journey from Xian to Kathmandu entirely by land (rail and road) – you! We’ll shortly be heading around Australia forrather than flying from Lhasa into Kathmandu. our first round of info sessions for 2018, with theWhile the land border at Zhangmu/Kodari is still closed, the border point at first stop being Brisbane on Saturday 3 February.Gyirong is now open to foreigners and will take us through some remote and Sydney follows on Sunday 4 February, withremarkable scenery as we head to the Nepalese town of Syabrubesi on the Perth on Saturday 10 February, and Adelaide onedge of the Langtang Valley. Saturday 10 March. Full venue details are on ourThis is one of the most popular destinations in Nepal for trekkers: it is well website, or you can call the office on 1300 856and truly off the beaten track and an area of magnificent natural beauty! Join 661 to register your interest. The timetable of presentations is as follows: us in 2018 on a remarkable journey to the roof of the world, travelling on the amazing scenic railway from Xining to Lhasa, driving across 09:30 to South America: The Top End the Himalayan Plateau and finally spending a week in the 10:15 magical Kingdom of Bhutan. (French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela &The Langtang Valley, Nepal. Colombia)Midnight cruise in the Icefjord, Greenland. 10.15 to Kamchatka: 10.45 Nature’s Tour De ForceIceland is HOT (South Korea, Russia)This may seem like a contradiction in terms, but Iceland most definitely is hot! Fromthe steaming geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon – one of Iceland’s most iconic 10.45 to African Dawntourist destinations – to the amazing volcanic interior, Iceland has become one of the 11.30hottest ‘go to’ places with discerning travellers in recent years. (Uganda, Rwanda & Ethiopia)It is a country like no other, with rugged volcanic landscapes, spectacular waterfalls,pseudo craters, stunning lakes, glistening glaciers and crystal clear glacial lagoons. 11.30 to Southern African MagicOur High Arctic tour spends eight nights in Iceland before flying to another must-see 12.00country - Greenland. Here we stay in the lovely town of Ilulissat on the edge of Disko (Zimbabwe, BotswanaBay, where we can see icebergs float right past our bedroom windows. & South Africa)Other highlights in Greenland are a flight over the Icefjord and a spectacular cruiseamongst the icebergs as the midnight sun paints them pink. But before we get to all 12.00 to Beyond the Black Seaof this, we spend 11 nights in Norway – six of them aboard a ship of the Hurtigruten 12.30Line as we ply though the coastal waters north from Bergen to Kirkenes. En-route we (Western Ukraine, Moldova,visit the wonderful Geirangerfjord, the picturesque town of Trondheim, the gateway Romania & Bulgaria)to the Arctic – Tromso, and many little fishing towns and villages.The entire 28-day journey is a photographer’s dream, and is packed with diverse 12.30 to Soul of the Balkansand unique cultural experiences. Departs all Australian capital cities on 10 July 2018. 1.00 (Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia & Albania) 1.00 to Baltics and Beyond 1.30 (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus & Poland) 1.30 to The Five Stans 2.15 (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan) 2.15 to Treasures of Persia 3.00 & the Caucasus (Iran, Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan) 3.00 to Epic Rail Odyssey 3.45 (Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand & Malaysia) We love visiting Melbourne too but recent weekend presentations here have been poorly attended. We definitely don’t want to leave our Victorian friends out of the next travelling roadshow – so if you’re keen to attend Information Sessions in Melbourne, please give us a call. We have various Expos over the coming weeks as well, but if all you Melburnians speak with one voice, we’ll make space in the schedule!

Leopard, Chobe National Park, Botswana. SARF FundraisingAnimal Attraction DinnerGet up close and personal with some of nature’s most majestic creatures on our long-running and The annual Save African Rhinoever-popular Southern African Magic tour. If an African safari is on your radar we have just the tour Foundation fund-raising dinner is beingto whet your appetite. Not only will you visit some of the most incredible wildlife regions of Zimbabwe held in Perth on Thursday 8 February, atand Botswana, but you will be escorted throughout by none other than Nicholas Duncan, founder the Hyatt Regency, Perth.and President of the SAVE African Rhino Foundation. SARF has raised millions over the last thirty Special guests are former England cricketyears to help preserve the endangered rhinos in southern Africa. captain David Gower, and former ABC sporting commentator and expert on allNicholas is a veteran of more than 90 visits to southern Africa, and is a highly regarded tour leader for things sport, Glenn Mitchell.our Southern African Magic tour. Throughout the 19-day tour we stay at first-class safari lodges and It promises to be a fabulous eveningexcellent hotels, among them The Hide, tucked deep in the heart of Hwange National Park. The Hide of entertainment, with an insight intohas set a bar of excellence and luxury for safari accommodation and is consistently voted one of the the plight of the rhinos presented bybest safari lodges in Zimbabwe. Your accommodation looks out onto a waterhole where elephant, the heads of anti-poaching at Savebuffalo, giraffe, zebra and antelope (not to mention a myriad of beautiful birdlife) flock to drink. Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe – Bryce Clemence and Givemore Bako. TheIn Botswana we stay two nights in Chobe National Park, where great concentrations of elephant evening takes place against a backdrop of a public and silent auction, includingbathe in the waters of the Chobe River which forms the northern boundary of the park. Next stop is sports memorabilia and African artifacts, while enjoying a lovely three-courseanother luxury tented camp – Camp Xakanaxa – located amongst the lagoons and islands of the dinner with complimentary beverages. If you fancy supporting this fantasticmagnificent Okavango Delta. But there’s more! We also spend time at Victoria Falls where we enjoy cause and enjoying an evening of good food and sparkling entertainment, give usthe best view in the house of one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, topped off with a scenic a call on 9242 4200 for more information.flight over this remarkable curtain of falling water. And then there’s Cape Town: we conclude our Elephant in the reeds, Botswana.momentous tour with four days in this fascinating city Departs 24 August 2018.nestled at the foot of Table Mountain.Soul of the Balkans GuaranteedMS Emanuel moored at Split, Croatia. MS Emanuel just gets better! But of course, the week-long cruise aboard our own private charter ship, is just one of the highlights of this excitingWe’re delighted to say that our ever-popular ‘Soul of the Balkans’ tour tour, and is a fantastic and relaxing way to begin our 25-day exploration ofto Eastern Europe is now guaranteed, and filling fast! As the Northern Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.Winter takes hold, our good friend Ante Rakuljic and his team are Each of these Balkans states have their very own unique culture, and anbeavering away making sure that everything aboard MS Emanuel is intricate tapestry of ancient and modern history. Each nation has its ownship-shape for 2018. distinct personality and each has something different to offer. Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts the remarkable cities of Mostar and Sarajevo, whichEvery year at this timeAnte puts Emanuel into dry-dock to carry out general tell a story of survival and hope. Montenegro is famed for its magnificentmaintenance and improvements. Year upon year, the experience aboard national parks, mountains and lakes, and Macedonia lays claim to the oldest lake in Europe – Lake Ohrid. It also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of Mother Teresa! Although she was of Albanian ethnicity, Mother (now Saint) Teresa, was born in Skopje, which is now Macedonia’s capital. And then there’s Albania: this is definitely one of Europe’s best-kept secrets – but the word is getting out. Visit this extraordinary pocket of Eastern Europe, and we promise you a travel experience that will remain in your memory for many years to come. Departs 27 June.

Travel Directors - January 2018 Newsletter

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